Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies

These soft and chewy apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies are exploding with sweet apple flavor. Filled with cinnamon and apple spices, loaded with applesauce and apple chunks, and topped with a creamy maple frosting, they’re absolutely perfect for the fall season.

apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies with maple icing on a baking sheet

In the fall months, apple desserts are often overshadowed by pumpkin spice. While these soft pumpkin cookies always hit the spot, today’s apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies have climbed to the top of our fall cookie list.

Speaking of favorite desserts, have you tried salted caramel apple pie yet? It’s our #1.


Tell Me About these Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies

  • Texture: These apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies are soft and chewy with moist centers and crisp edges. They’re much softer and more airy than our oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal raisin cookies. Each is loaded with apple chunks and topped with creamy frosting. So much texture in just 1 cookie!
  • Flavor: You’ll enjoy many fall flavors in each bite including apple spice, cinnamon, and maple. If you’re looking for a maple cookie to try, these maple brown sugar cookies are a popular choice.
  • Time: The apple oatmeal cookie dough comes together quickly. Some cookie doughs require chilling in the refrigerator and others don’t. This recipe doesn’t, but some readers have found chilling the dough helpful because it helps reduce over-spreading. (We don’t usually chill the dough, but see step 1 below.)

apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies with maple icing on a baking sheet

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies: What Works & What Doesn’t

Here are a few helpful tips my team & I learned while testing this recipe.

  1. Use this trick for melted butter. The first ingredient is melted butter, but the temperature is important. If it’s too hot, the dough will turn into an oily puddle. If it’s too cool, your cookies will taste a little too cakey. Here’s what we do: melt the butter and set it aside for 10 minutes while we prep the rest of the ingredients. It’s still warm, but not piping hot. Perfect!
  2. Bake right away. The oats will soak up a lot of the moisture if you let the cookie dough sit too long. This isn’t a bad thing, but we find the centers are much softer if the dough sits. You’ll get a better cookie if you bake them right away. Impatience finally pays off! 
  3. Next day flavor wins. Even though you want to bake the cookies right away, eating them is another story. Like banana bread, these cookies have even more flavor on the 2nd day… if you can wait that long to eat them!

apple cinnamon oatmeal cookie batter in a glass bowl

Choosing the Right Ingredients

Here are some of the key ingredients in apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies.

  • More oats than flour = chewier cookie. You need 2 cups of whole oats and 1 cup of flour to achieve the perfect chew.
  • Sugars. You’ll need both granulated sugar and brown sugar in this recipe. We prefer dark brown sugar this time of year, though light brown sugar works just as well.
  • Applesauce. While applesauce can make cookies taste a little rubbery, the melted butter keeps their chewy texture in check. We recommend using a thick unsweetened applesauce to prevent overspreading. Avoid thin and soupy applesauce.
  • Walnuts. We love adding walnuts to these apple cookies, but you can leave them out if desired. The nuts are completely optional.
  • Apple chunks. Make sure you cut the apple into very tiny chunks. We use only 1/2 cup for the cookies– you don’t want to use much more than that because the dough will be too moist.
  • Spices. We recommend using apple pie spice and cinnamon. If you don’t have access to store-bought apple pie spice, use a little extra cinnamon or you can make your own with cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg. If you have and love apple pie spice, you’ll enjoy it in our baked apple cider donuts too!

apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies on a silpat baking mat on a baking sheet before baking

apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies on a baking sheet

apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies with maple icing on a baking sheet

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apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies with maple icing on a baking sheet

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 20 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These soft and chewy apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies are exploding with sweet apple flavor. Filled with cinnamon and apple spices, loaded with applesauce and apple chunks, and topped with a creamy maple frosting, they’re absolutely perfect for the fall season.


Ingredients

  • 2 cups (170g) old-fashioned whole rolled oats
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice (or an extra tsp cinnamon)
  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/2 cup (90g) unsweetened applesauce*
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed dark or light brown sugar (I prefer dark here)
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup finely diced apple (about 1/2 of a large apple)
  • optional: 1/2 cup (63g) chopped walnuts

Maple Icing

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (180gconfectioners’ sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) milk

Instructions

  1. Some readers have found that these cookies spread a little too much without chilling the cookie dough first– I haven’t run into that problem, but feel free to chill this cookie dough for 1-2 hours after step 4–before rolling and baking. Enjoy!
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
  3. Whisk the oats, flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and apple pie spice (if using) together in a large bowl.
  4. Whisk the butter, applesauce, brown sugar, and white sugar together until combined. Then whisk in the egg and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Fold in the apples and walnuts. The cookie dough will be thick and sticky.
  5. Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop cookie dough into balls (about 2 Tbsp of dough each) and place 3 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Slightly flatten the balls out– see picture above– as the cookies won’t spread much unless you help out first!
  6. Bake for 14-15 minutes or until lightly browned and set on the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet before icing.
  7. Make the icing: Whisk all of the ingredients together and drizzle over cookies. You may have a little icing leftover. Drizzle more on each… because it’s just so good.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Iced cookies stay fresh covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. The flavor is even better on day 2. You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Allow to come to room temperature then continue with step 5. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing cookie dough.
  2. Applesauce: Make sure you are using a thick applesauce. Anything too thin and liquid creates excess spreading.

Keywords: apple cinnamon cookies, apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies

248 Comments

  1. These cookies are delicious! Made two batches and for the 2nd batch, We added 3/4 cup of raisins to the dough. They were great! Thanks for the recipe Sally

  2. Made these today and they are just excellent. Probably the best cookie I have ever made. A big hit with the family.

  3. Can you sub the brown sugar with coconut sugar?

  4. Flavor is there, but man oh man did these spread. I even chilled the dough. The flavor is there that we ate them anyways. Going to up my dry ingredients a bit more for second batch.

    1. You can also try a different brand of apple sauce, the one you used might’ve been too runny.

  5. I wanted to use up cooking apples from my garden so this recipe looked great. We don’t like things too sweet so I put 150g Demerara sugar (the only sugar I had in) and 100g ground almonds. I added some chopped pecans and they are oops ….. were scrumptious .

  6. Love the recipe, thank you, I made these tonight- wondering how I can do better next time because mine spread so thin that they were hard to pick up without breaking – the flavor was AMAZING though. How can I make them thicker next time ?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Tabarik, You can chill this cookie dough for 1-2 hours after step 4–before rolling and baking, which should help if they are spreading. A few more tips are to make sure that your butter has slightly cooled before using (if it’s too hot the cookies will spread) and that you are not using a super thin/watery applesauce. Thank you for trying this recipe!

  7. Made’em today for The Boss to take on the road as a snack. Pretty darned good, Sally! Used homemade applesauce so had to up the oats as batter was bit too thin. Also added 1/4 tsp allspice to 11/2 tsp cinnamon. Thanks for this great cookie!

  8. I did it and just add y bit ok chocolate chips … they are so good ! Thank you !

  9. Sharon K Roodhuyzen says:

    Super flavorful and simple to make. I used Sally’s recommendations to let butter cool and to chill the dough before baking. They did not spread too much. My family was very happy with them, will make them again!

  10. Hi Sally! Is there a substitute for applesauce?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Tin, You can try a ripe mashed banana, or canned pumpkin if you wish. Or you can even make your own applesauce by simply cooking some peeled and sliced apples on the stove until they are soft enough to mash.

  11. Hi, just wondering if you happen to have a recipe book all on Cinnamon??
    Cookies, cakes, breads and bars. I love Cinnamon.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Cindy, Sally has published three books which you can find on our home page!
      Using the blue search bar at the top of this page, you can search this website by ingredient if you wish. For example, here are all of our recipe that use cinnamon.

  12. Nancy Mcleary says:

    Hi Sally
    Well, I agree, this cookie is fantastic!!!
    I just finished cleaning up after baking these for the first time.
    I prefer smaller cookies so I used only one tablespoon. The best baking time, after varying the times for the first three batches, turned out to be 12 1/2 minutes,not to be too exact or anything!
    They are so delicious Sally! Thanks for your always successful recipes! I used Trader Joe’s unsweetened apple sauce. It is quite thick. My cookies did not over spread at all.

  13. Mary Ann Robinson says:

    Do you think these would then last in a air tight tin mailed to Florida from NY.

  14. Adriana Guzman says:

    Sally,
    I used gluten free flour, apple and
    Pear, and only brown sugar. These are delicious. I did not need the icing. Would using an a vegan egg substitute and vegan butter change the consistency. They came out like tasty little oatmeal cakes. Yum!

  15. Dear Sally,

    Whenever I make cookies, they always end up with grains of sugar left undissolved, no matter how long I mix. How can I avoid this?

    1. In fact, do you think I could omit sugar entirely and replace it with honey?

    2. Hi Jenna, are you using a coarse sugar? Make sure you’re using granulated sugar. You can even try pulsing it in a food processor a few times to break down the crystals even more, which would make a superfine sugar.

  16. Realized after I had already started that the kiddos had finished off the apples. I ended up subbing in raspberries and they were still amazing. I think this will be my go to recipe when I have fruit that needs to be used up.

  17. Mikayla Madison says:

    I made these for my friend!

    I chilled the batter for 24 hours and WOW! The cookies were AMAZING! Absolutely delicious cookies, probably the best I’ve ever made! My friend is still talking about them!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      So happy to read this! Thank you so much for making these cookies, Mikayla!

  18. Flavor here is A+, but they did overspread. They were very sticky even on parchment, and with nonstick oil. Getting them loose made them fall apart and even when they were off, they stuck to your fingers so bad that they were essentially only good to enjoy privately. I even made my own applesauce when you said it needed to be thicker to prevent overspread, and I still failed. Even though they’re delicious, I probably wouldn’t use this recipe again unless I put them in paper cups and called them oatmeal bars or something.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Randy, thank you so much for giving these cookies a try. We don’t suggest greasing parchment paper when baking cookies, the added oil can cause the cookies to spread. It’s also possible the cookies needed another minute or two to bake if they were falling apart. Here’s more tips to keep cookies from spreading for next time.

      1. I did both, ungreased first then greased. Same sticky result. And as for time/temp, in the first batch I had bumped it up to 375° after rotating my pans, and they were in there for at least 20 minutes. They pooled at both 350 and 375, and I waited until they were browned properly. Not hatin on you, just the results.

  19. Have you tried using chunky applesauce in the recipe?

  20. Hiba Hijazi says:

    Hey Sally! I hope I’m not bothering you too much but I have a few questions if you don’t mind?
    So Im doing my food technology assignment based on your cookie recipe and I just wanted to know how many cookies are in one batch? and about how many grams are the cookies altogether so can write it into my folio ..?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Hiba, This recipe will yield about 20 cookies. We are unsure of the weight of each cookie.

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